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The Big Combo

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The Big Combo

by Boo

Publisher Security Pictures
Language English
Police captain Peterson (Robert Middleton) storms into the office of police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) critical of Diamond's spending exorbitant amounts of the city budget and his own personal money in an attempt to arrest a crime boss Mr. Brown (Richard Conte). Peterson says it is a waste of time trying to find something incriminating to bring Mr. Brown to justice because his crime combo does business without accounting books, and furthermore Peterson says Diamond's actual motivation is Diamond's love for Brown's girlfriend Susan Lowell (Jean Wallace). Susan is attended to at all time by Brown's thugs Mingo (Earl Holliman) and Fante (Lee Van Cleef). Seemingly drawn to Brown through his ability to inflict pain, she seems kidnapped and yet willingly waits for Brown's brutal attentions. Attempting suicide she overdoses on pills, and utters the name "Alicia" as Diamond attends to her in the hospital. Believing this may be Brown's wife Diamond follows up on this new lead, but Brown captures and tortures Diamond and delivers him back to his boss Peterson attempting to make diamond appear drunk. Meanwhile Joe McClure (Brian Donlevy).....
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Reviewer: eggbone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 4, 2016
Subject: A pretty good film
The supporting cast made the film! Familiar faces:Earl Holliman, Lee Van Cleef, and Brian Donlevy all portrayed fine characters in very good forn. Jean Wallace also played above average as the moll. The story was better than average.
Reviewer: Moongleam - - July 5, 2011
Subject: Another version
A sharper copy is here.
Reviewer: artdec0 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2011
Subject: Wrong, Jesus Buddy
You misunderstand, J. B. Susan Lowell isn't stupid and she isn't greedy. She is wealthy in her own right. She was seduced by Mr. Brown as a young woman and now she is scared to death of his (as is his ex-wife). Brown keeps Susan under constant surveillance by his gunsels.

The cop is in love with Susan, which it seems to me interferes with his ability to think clearly about the case. There is no indication that he is working with God or any other deity. The subject never comes up in the film. You are reading God into it, but then I suspect you read God into everything.
Reviewer: JesusBuddy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 23, 2011
Subject: Never give up
The Poilicer Officer did not give up and God therefore worked with him to expose the criminal. This movie also shows how stupid and gullible women can be in the worship of money. It is a grave shame that countless women can be sleeping with criminals for the love of cloths, etc. They are all hell-bound.
Reviewer: accalaurie49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 5, 2010
Subject: "It´s Personality"
Nearly everything what can be said about this marvellous movie has been said already in the previous reviews, so I only add that I never saw Richard Conte mor impressive. He is absolutely great as a villain. Torturing the police lieutenant by letting him hear a drum solo, stealing his second in command Brian Donlevy his hearing device so that he can´t hear . . .: wonderful ideas! Yes, Cornel Wilde is sometimes lame and it is not only because of his role as straightforward policeman. It would not have worked the other way round (Richard Conte as Policelieutenant and Wilde as gangsterboss, I mean).
Reviewer: fisherman777 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 7, 2010
Subject: An outstanding movie
Great story,excellent acting. This is an outstanding movie.
Reviewer: Puck30 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 6, 2010
Subject: Fantastic Crime Movie!
The only crime (to my knowledge) of this film was that nobody ever put the Theme song onto wax and released it on the charts. KUDOS David Raksin!
Reviewer: Albert Schlef - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2010
Subject: Nice.
I liked the film. (Reminds me a bit of a Tarantino film, in the sense that there's a very bad guy there and some nasty things going on; though I pitied him at the end.)

(Oh, I've just noticed that the reviewer bellow me mentioned Tarantino :-)
Reviewer: junya - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2010
Subject: This is why it's called "noir"
Normally I don't comment on other reviews, and only comment on the movie. But I found myself distracted by anticipation of lines mentioned in an earlier review (The review states:
"these lines and many more make this a noir classic"), yet those lines never came.

The review states:
"Jean wallace to mr diamond "i like it when he kisses me 'all over'".
But I didn't find that line. The movie did offer a scene more daring than any I've seen come out of Production Code Hollywood: Mr. Brown's kiss begins on the cheek and works its way down until, somewhere below her hips, his head disappears. This one scene explains more about the moll's relationship with Mr. Brown than all dialog combined. As the stripper that the cop uses as a sperm bank explains: "a woman doesn't care how a man makes his living, only how he makes love".

The review states:
"I'm tired of eating salami"
The actual line is:
"I can't swallow any more salami"

And to echo other reviews: this flick is a hidden noir gem. The villain, Mr. Brown (also the name of Quentin Tarantino's character in "Reservoir Dogs"), spits his lines like a machine gun (same way that Martin Scorcese speaks). Every chance he gets, he verbally bitch-slaps his second-in-command. He tortures the terminally square cop ("a righteous man") by forcing him to listen to a "real crazy" drum solo. This is one *bad* dude.

Sure, the performances of Wilde and Wallace are wooden and lame, and the editor could have cut out a lot of repetition, but one thing makes me overlook its flaws: this flick is dark, dark, dark...
Reviewer: Nikonwilly - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2010
Subject: Another Great story
The cinematography is spectacular in these old B+W films, Superb lighting, angles and composition. Directors today couldn't hold a match to this era, back when Artistry was part of the procedure.
The ending shots were fantastic. If only more folks could appreciate this era of Film art.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2010
Subject: Decent Gangster Movie
The story seemed clichéd as did the dialog at times, and the plot was predictable. The acting was fine and the music really set the tone for the film. The ending was very well done.

I downloaded the DivX file, which is really an AVI. It was recorded off TV (the TCM logo appears now and then), so video quality is only fair and looks grainy. The audio was clear.
Reviewer: mesiw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2009
Subject: First Rate movie
The music really set the tone for the movie from the beginning. Great story,excellent acting from everyone. Once is not enough. This is a great find. I rate this Five Stars
Reviewer: DJ Psychomike - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 23, 2009
Subject: One of the best noir films I have ever seen
This film is now in the top 10, make that top 5 noir films I have ever seen. From it's look, to it's dialog to some incredible performances this is one outstanding movie.

Watch this one, and I bet you end up sending the link to pals so they can watch it, too.

It is not an easy ride. The torture scene of the cop is strong stuff, the two killers appear to be gay, the cop in love with the gangster's moll is obsessed - this is twisted, dark noir at it best. So much better than it had to be.
Reviewer: The Bryson Bandit - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 14, 2009
They just don't make movies like this anymore; if they did, it would be full of sex & violence who knows what else. This movie lets your imagination fill in the "blanks". What a cast!!
Reviewer: arcturus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 25, 2008
Richard Conte,Brian Donlevy,Lee van Cleef,Earl Holliman,Jean Wallace;whats not to like about these dudes."I'm tired of eating salami", says earl to lee,when the two 'pals' are hiding out in a cellar."I'll break you so fast you wont have time to change your pants".also jean wallace to mr diamond "i like it when he kisses me 'all over'".these lines and many more make this a noir classic.
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